The 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is similar in all respects to the Napa Valley, but somewhat heavier in the mouth, with an aggressive tannic bite, and more length. It possesses mineral-tinged blackberry and cassis fruit, massive body, and extraordinary purity and length. It should not be touched for 12-15 years. It will undoubtedly live through the first half of the next century. (RP)
A huge, tannic wine, the 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is the first wine in this tasting that is nowhere near close to deliver maximum pleasure. Layers of dark red/blackish fruit supported by firm, incisive tannin hit the palate in an explosive, full-bodied Cabernet built for the cellar. The 1995 is a beauty, but readers need to be very, very patient. (AG)
Dark red-ruby. Sauvage nose combines dark berries, licorice, mushroom, compost, mocha and minerals. A wine of superb intensity and energy, even if it lacks the flesh of the best vintages here. Not a particularly sweet style, in part due to the wine's penetrating acidity. Finishes a bit dry, with big tannins and a lingering leathery quality. This wine struck me as even tighter than the 2004 Howell Mountain bottle I tasted a year ago. (ST, in Vinous)
The 94s from Napa were filled with fruit. The 95s made their bones on their solidity, tightness and potential. They never were as voluptuous as the 94s and promised to last longer. Such was the case here, but with a caveat or two. Here is a wine this is twenty years old and counting, and its muscles are still evident. One has to conclude that they will always be in frame, no matter how much one likes the wine. We did, but it was controversial because it was not open, accessible and inviting. John served a seared ribeye and a lamb T-bone with the wines, and it took the richness of the meat to bring out the best of this wine. So, while older Cabs often can go with richer foods that do not require brawn, this wine still wants a gnarly hunk of well-prepared beast. It should hold in bottle for another decade and could go on from there.
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